I don’t know if they are opposed to it just because Republicans are the main advocates or they actually care about the facts. Regardless I welcome all to my side of this fight:
The Department of Homeland Security has postponed the demand that states join in creating what amounts to a national identification card. Congress should use the time until January 2010 to reconsider what is likely to become a multibillion-dollar boondoggle.
The Real ID Act mandating a national ID was rushed through Congress two years ago as part of a military spending bill. There weren’t even any hearings on it. Since then, states have balked at the costs, and civil liberties groups have challenged the threats to privacy.
Security issues have not begun to be addressed. For example, what do states do about the millions of licenses that are lost or stolen every year?
A centralized database raises the odds that identity thieves will gain entry. The new regulations will not require that states encrypt biographical data on driver’s licenses, so they will be vulnerable to unauthorized copying.
An ID system is only as reliable as the underlying documents establishing that you are who you say you are. To receive the new license, drivers will need to prove their address, birth date and legal status in the United States by submitting birth certificates and immigration records. But the databases needed to authenticate those documents either don’t exist or can’t talk to each other. It’s a weakness that will be easy to exploit.
Most of the Sept. 11 hijackers used fake or forged driver’s licenses to board airliners. Clearly, better systems to produce trustworthy identification are imperative. But Congress’ solution appears to have irreparable flaws. It’s time to retreat before more states revolt.
I’ve long been opposed to a national ID card. It fails my Jews In The Attic Test and that should be the end of the discussion. But many people have a severe lack of imagination and claim, “That’s crazy thinking.” Oh yeah? Brigitte Gabriel, who I quoted yesterday, reported in her book that they had a national ID card in Lebanon. Even before the civil war started the Islamic extremists would set up road blocks, stop every car, demand the ID cards, and if the card reported the people in the car were not Muslim they would be executed beside the road.